Colony founding by pleometrosis in the fire ant, Solenopsis invicta

  title={Colony founding by pleometrosis in the fire ant, Solenopsis invicta},
  author={Walter R. Tschinkel and Dennis F. Howard},
  journal={Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology},
SummaryNewly mated queens of the fire ant, Solenopsis invicta, found colonies either alone (haplometrosis) or by joining with other newly mated queens (pleometrosis). Surveys after mating flights showed that nests and queens were usually aggregated in space, that queens were aggregated among occupied nest chambers, and that the occurrence and degree of pleometrosis was related to the mean queen density. Queens and nests were strongly associated with slightly higher ground, away from rainwash… 

Effects of foundress number on brood raids and queen survival in the fire ant Solenopsis invicta

Results show that the competitive advantages of multiple-queen colonies are sufficient to counterbalance the increased mortality of queens within groups only when the number of foundresses is greater than two and when colonies are founded at high density.

Colony foundation and polygyny in the ant Formica podzolica

We document the variation in number of queens occurring naturally in founding, immature and mature nests of the ant Formica podzolica, and compare development of colonies and survivorship of queens

A shift in colony founding behaviour in the obligate plant-ant Crematogaster (Decacrema) morphospecies 2

Using microsatellite markers, it is shown that queens in colonies founded through pleometrosis are unrelated and each queen participates in producing worker offspring, albeit with significant skew in a third of the colonies.

Colony founding, queen dominance and oligogyny in the Australian meat ant Iridomyrmex purpureus

A striking antagonistic behavior among coexisting queens in young colonies of the Australian meat ant is discovered, in the form of ritualized antennation bouts, which result in a reproductive rank order in which dominant queens inhibit egg-laying by subordinates, but escalation into physical fighting is rare.

Three queen morphs with alternative nest-founding behaviors in the ant, Temnothorax longispinosus

Investigating queen size in the ant Temnothorax longispinosus in several southern Wisconsin populations found three distinct queen morphs, which may resemble early stages in the evolution of more specialized dispersal polymorphisms found in other ant species.

Resource allocation, brood production and cannibalism during colony founding in the fire ant,Solenopsis invicta

  • W. Tschinkel
  • Environmental Science
    Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology
  • 2005
SummaryThe colony founding characteristics of newly mated fire ant queens from monogyne colonies were studied in the field and in the laboratory under haplo- and pleometrotic conditions. Initial

Queen condition and alate density affect pleometrosis in the antLasius pallitarsis

SummaryAnt queens often cooperate in starting colonies (pleometrosis), but not all foundresses are likely to achieve equal reproductive success. Therefore, joining decisions may be influenced by

Pleometrotic colony foundation in the ant Crematogaster scutellaris (Hymenoptera: Formicidae): better be alone than in bad company

The results suggest that associative foundation in C. scutellaris is more likely to be the result of a random proces s, probably triggered by the need to escape from predation and abio tic stresses after the nuptial flight, than an act of choice of queens.

Social structure of the polygynous ant, Crematogaster osakensis

It is proposed that in C. osakensis, polygynous foundresses might either be unrelated and subsequently be replaced by daughter queens of particular foundresses, or be related in the first place.



Queen replacement in orphaned colonies of the fire ant, Solenopsis invicta

The hypothesis is developed that the inseminated replacements are surviving foundresses from pleometrotic colony founding, and that S. invicta is often polygynous but functionally monogynous.

Colony Founding by Queens of the Red Imported Fire Ant, Solenopsis invicta

The method by which newly mated queens of the red imported fire ant, Solenopsis invicta Buren, found new colonies was investigated and optimum temperature was found to be between 27.5 and 32°C.

Polygyny in termites: Multiple primary queens in colonies ofNasutitermes corniger (Motschuls) (Isoptera: Termitidae)

It is predicted that polygyny will prove most common in habitats where the probability of survival is low and rapid colony growth is advantageous, and in areas of young second growth in the Republic of Panamá, polygynous colonies were found commonly.

Colony founding in Myrmecocystus mimicus wheeler (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) and the evolution of foundress associations

It is concluded that competition among founding nests favors foundress associations and that inter-colony raiding is a natural consequence of aggregated pleometrotic founding nests.

Monogyny and Polygyny in the Fire Ant, Solenopsis invicta

All the queens of the 15 polygynous colonies were less physogastric than queens of monogynous colonies, and individually they laid far fewer eggs, but collectively they produced a significantly greater number of eggs per colony.

Growth and Development of Colonies of the Red Imported Fire Ant, Solenopsis invicta

A study of new colonies of Solenopsis invicta Buren showed that from their inception in early May until fall when weather stops development, the colonies had grown from a single queen and 15–20

Production and Flight of Alate Red Imported Fire Ants

Emergence of alate Solenopsis invicta Buren from several habitats in northern Florida averaged 187,000/acre/year, and first flights composed of alates which developed from the new season's brood occurred in late April and early May.

The effect of the number of queens of the antLasius flavus (Fab.) (Hym., Formicidae) on their survival and on the rate of development of the first brood

In the laboratory the multi-female colonies ofLasius flavus F. flavus were at an advantage over the single female ones, as the mortality of the queens was reduced and the first brood of workers was reared more rapidly.


Since metamorphosis of Zophobas rugipes larvae is known to be inhibited by crowding, this weight-related overdispersal probably allows pupation by mature larvae by causing them to leave regions of high population density.

Foraging Territories of Imported Fire Ants

Field studies show that definite foraging territories do exist and that they are easily defined, and that each colony operates as an isolated unit.